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Unread 11 Nov 19, 04:00 PM  
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neilhd
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Rock(erfeller)ing Around The Xmas Tree

Ooooohhhhhh. Myyyyyy. Gaaaaahhhhhddd

(say that in a Janice voice).

It seems that, with very little notice, we are going to New York for a few days in between Xmas and New Year!

The reason? Basically so that Ele can go and see the Rockerfeller Christmas tree.

Let me introduce you to the Rockettes:

Me. Neil. 41. Best husband in the world.
DW. Ele. 42. Luckiest wife in the world.
DS. Joe. 14. Very tall.
DD. Jess. 23. Paying for herself.
DSILTB (Son-in-law-to-be). Jordan. 23. Paying for himself.

We considered making a plan to go here during that period earlier in the year (going so far as to arrange the days off work normally Ele has to work 1 day between Xmas and New Year), but then we changed our 2020 Florida plans to include our DD and her fiance (with us paying), so then it became a totally unaffordable idea. It still is a totally unaffordable idea, but that doesn't seem to have stopped us.

Anyway, so as I was saying, Ele has always wanted to see the Rockerfeller tree. And I mean, really really really wants to see it. We missed it by a day in 2017, and have been in January again this year with some friends, but again too late to see it. Then this past weekend, Ele started to see posts about the tree arriving and I could see in her face that she was really disappointed in not going to see it. She is a bit Christmas-mad, that one.

So on Saturday morning, whilst Ele was prepping some stuff downstairs ready to re-paint the hallway, I had a quick look for flights on Google Flights. And, quite unexpectedly, found something. Return, with Iberia (via Madrid on the way out), for 349. That is not bad. Ok I've seen prices for under 300 before, but never during December-New Year.

I dug a little deeper and it seemed that actually the times were ok. 10:50 departure from Gatwick, arrive into Madrid, 2h 30 mins layover, then into NYC arriving at 7pm. That's a bit later than I normally like to arrive (like to touch down at 1-2pm), but it's ok. The return flight leaves at 10pm which is perfect. Departing 27th December, returning 31st.

So I went downstairs and hadn't even finished telling her and she was yelling at me to book it. Jess had overheard and was like "349?! if you're doing that then we're coming too!". She had to quickly arrange a day off work but her boss OK'd it by text message, and so I booked! Have to add baggage on at 80 per bag return, but it's only 4 nights so we can share a suitcase between Ele, Joe and I. Jess and Jordan will share another.

Shortly after, I realised that whilst the flights were cheap, hotels definitely were not. I am good at finding hotel deals. I still have a valid IATA card so can get travel agent discounts. However, there were none to be found. We last stayed at the Intercontinental Barclay, but it was massively expensive over 500 per night. And really, I couldn't find anything for under 300 per night at all. I began to worry that I was going to have to pay 1500 for 4 nights. And that's just for 1 room. Jess and Jordan would have to pay the same for theirs.

After a fair amount of looking, I happened upon the Hyatt Place Times Square. This is a brand new hotel. At the time me writing this, it hasn't actually opened yet. It opens mid-November. They had rooms King bed with sofa bed for Joe on a stay-3-nights-get-4th-free deal, which worked out at 900 total. It's a good location, just off 8th on W39th street. And, as a real bonus, it includes breakfast which should save us some money. That was a good price, so we snapped it up.

Still have to sort out airport transfers. I'm hoping Blacklane will have a Black Friday sale like they did before, as that's the easiest way for 5 people I think (although probably not the cheapest).

Ele is beyond excited, and Joe is as well. He can't believe it's happening only a few weeks from now. We didn't really have a holiday this year (just a few days in the peak district), so he feels like he missed out.

And we've never all gone to NYC together. Ele, Joe and I went when he was 11. Jess and Jordan went together for her 21st, but we've never been at the same time. So we're looking forward to a few festive days as a family in NYC.

Can't wait! Better go check our ESTAs...

Edited at 03:28 PM.
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 04:11 PM  
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margyloveswdw
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Wow, sounds fab! I hope you have a great time and the tree in person (IYKWIM) is everything Ele is expecting!
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 07:24 PM  
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Melbatb
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We were there over Christmas up to NYE three years ago! So lovely to see all the Christmas stuff!

We must have got lucky as we paid $2000 for 10 nights in a hotel in LIC!

Have fun planning!
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 09:32 PM  
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smithlane
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Ooh so jealous, I am exactly the same as Ele and would love to see the Rockefeller tree! Have only been in the summer so its on the bucket list to go when it's potentially snowing
You are a good hubby, I may leave this page open on the laptop in the hope my OH sees it...
Looking forward to reading all about it
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 09:40 PM  
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jocat
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Ooh would love to see New York at Christmas. Theres going to be lots of very jealous Dibbers!

Will there be a trippie afterwards, so we can share in your trip? Am sure youre long overdue writing one!
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 09:48 PM  
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snowbelle
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New York is magical in winter especially if it snows .
The Rockefeller tree is outstanding and I couldnt think of anywhere nicer at that time .
You will have such a great time
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Unread 11 Nov 19, 10:27 PM  
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hutton5
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Oh sounds great. I am so excited for you all.
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Unread 12 Nov 19, 09:17 AM  
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neilhd
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
We were there over Christmas up to NYE three years ago! So lovely to see all the Christmas stuff!

We must have got lucky as we paid $2000 for 10 nights in a hotel in LIC!

Have fun planning!
There were much cheaper hotels available in LIC and in New Jersey, but I love being in the middle of the action in New York, so Midtown is always the place for me!

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Ooh so jealous, I am exactly the same as Ele and would love to see the Rockefeller tree! Have only been in the summer so its on the bucket list to go when it's potentially snowing
You are a good hubby, I may leave this page open on the laptop in the hope my OH sees it...
Looking forward to reading all about it
We've done summer and winter. I think New York really suits the winter for some reason.

Originally Posted by jocat View Post
Ooh would love to see New York at Christmas. Theres going to be lots of very jealous Dibbers!

Will there be a trippie afterwards, so we can share in your trip? Am sure youre long overdue writing one!
Maybe! I never posted the last NYC trippie from January. I did write most of it, it's just sorting out the photos that takes ages and I never seem to have time to get around to it! So no promises... !

Originally Posted by snowbelle View Post
New York is magical in winter especially if it snows .
The Rockefeller tree is outstanding and I couldnt think of anywhere nicer at that time .
You will have such a great time
On our first winter visit to NYC in January 2017 (we'd already been in the summer before), it snowed the day before we got there, quite heavily. The first thing we did was head up into Central Park, arriving at dusk and staying a couple of hours into the darkness. It was completely covered in snow and absolutely magical lit by the streetlamps. Bloody freezing, but magical!
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